Best and worst days on tour? (page 2) - CycleBlaze

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Best and worst days on tour? (page 2)

Gregory GarceauTo Keith Adams

Every single day of every single bike tour has had some good and some bad.  I'm afraid I can only select a best day and worst day for this discussion by focusing on a day in which I had an especially great experience, and a day in which I had a truly terrible experience.

Using that criteria, the best day was easily the day in which I saw a mountain lion and her cub crossing the road in front of me in northwest Montana.  It was a major wildlife thrill for me.

The worst day was when I had to ride to an emergency room in Wickenburg, Arizona.  The bad part wasn't so much the deep gash in my right shoulder as it was the waste of three hours of time I should have been resting and relaxing after one of my longest touring days . . . and answering the same questions over and over again from the police, the nurses, and the doctors.   

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3 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo John Egan

Oh. My.  God.

I'm so terribly sorry to have brought this back to you John.

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3 weeks ago
John EganTo Keith Adams

Keith - How would you have known? No prob.

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3 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesTo John Egan

John, thanks for writing this. I’m sorry his happened to you, and I’m glad you still continued to go on touring (and they’ve been great). I admire that you didn’t let this affect your sobriety. Here you are on the other side, with us, your people, who are glad that it is so.

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3 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo Kathleen Jones

This is one of those times I wish the site had a "Like" feature on the forums and comments.  Well said.

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3 weeks ago
George HallTo Keith Adams

Thanks for starting this thread, it's been an eye-opener for me.  I hesitate to reply because my best and worst days really aren't that much different than most folks - but maybe I have a little bit to offer, so I'll give it a shot.

Worst Day. I'm a bad news first kind of guy, because I like to end with the good news, so I'll first try and pick my worst day.  Let me begin by saying that my worst day(s) is inconsequential compared with the bad experiences that others have discussed.  And let me also say that I don't consider hard days to be in the same category as "worst" days.  I expect to have challenging days on tour and have to deal with hills, headwinds, heat, rain, storms, and cold.  And with the planet heating up I also expect to have to deal with forest fires out west.   Having said that, from a pure physically challenging perspective, this was certainly one of my toughest days;  The Beast Within.  And while this may not be in the same category as "worst days," this was the only time I have ever been truly frightened while on tour;  Spooky Church.  At the time I was experiencing it, the spooky church night sure seemed like it might be one of my worst days on tour.  Hindsight being 20/20 it doesn't seem so bad now.   My absolute worst day on tour has to have been this day; Wisdom of Teeth.  Yeah, my worst day was caused by a toothache - I guess I'm not much of a tough guy. 

Best Day. It's really a lot harder for me to pick my best day on tour because they are all pretty good - after all, that's why we tour, right?  Even the worst tour I have undertaken (my recently finished Great Rivers South tour) had a lot of good days consisting of fantastic cycling.  So how does one pick the best day?   Most of us probably have the fondest memories from our first self-supported long tour, and I have many but I'll just offer up these 2 days from my Transam journey; The Coyotes Sing and Hunting For Bear.  The day the coyotes sang to me was especially meaningful and is explained here; Meaning of Life

I certainly hope to never have a day on tour any worse than the one I already experienced - I don't think I could continue a tour if I ever experience such a day.  And it's hard for me to imagine that I could ever have any days better than those I mentioned.  But cycle touring is an adventure, and by definition that implies both risk and unknown aspects.  Just the possibility that I could experience a day better than my previous best day is enough to keep me excited for whatever the next tour brings.  Ultimately, I seek cyclist Valhalla, and perhaps I will get a few more peeks at it in future tours.  Just writing this makes me jittery and excited for my next tour, thanks again for starting this great thread!

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2 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo George Hall

Between John's reply and yours, I see a strong argument for not riding alone whatever the appeal.  My own experience is too limited to count as informed; that said, I'll be considering carefully whether and where I may choose to go it alone versus where and when I'll try for company.

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2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Keith Adams

We’ve had so many wonderful rides but the one that I most often remember and recommend to others is a ride in the Almeria region of Spain which is the only desert in Europe.  We discover this area when we were bicycling in Andalucia and the weather got to bad.  The weather was wonderful and the roads were paved but virtually empty of traffic except bicycle racers training for there next race.  The first link describes the ride and the second link, has a video.

https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/iberia2019/berja-out-and-back/

https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/iberia2019/berja-videorama/

We’ve mostly been very lucky but like everyone else we’ve had bad days.  The one that stands out the most is the day Scott and I lost each other on our ride over Col d’Agnes.  I got ahead but stopped for a potty break.  The problem was I didn’t know if Scott was ahead of me or behind and I couldn’t call him.  In addition I had no food or warm clothing.  Fortunately, I finally ran into someone who knew he was ahead.   This misadventure caused me to make sure we both had phones with us, food and warm clothing.  I’m so happy now to have the edge 1030 plus which allows us to track each other!   Here’s the link to that ride.  

https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/girona2014/layover-in-saint-girons/

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2 weeks ago